How to Get a Plumbing License in Rhode Island

Rhode Island requires all plumbers to be licensed by the state before working. There are several steps aspiring plumbers need to take to qualify for and obtain their license. This guide provides an overview of the licensing process, requirements, fees, and other important information for plumbers in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Plumbing License Requirements

To become a licensed plumber in Rhode Island, candidates must meet experience and exam requirements for three license types:

  • Apprentice Plumber – No exam or fees required. Must complete a 5-year registered apprenticeship program with 576 hours of classroom instruction.
  • Journeyman Plumber – Must complete apprenticeship program and pass the journeyman exam.
  • Master Plumber – Must hold a journeyman license for 1 year and pass the master plumber exam. Allows independent contracting.

Plumbing License Application Process

Follow these steps to become a licensed plumber in Rhode Island:

1. Complete an Apprenticeship

  • Enroll in a plumbing apprenticeship program registered with the RI Office of Apprenticeship.
  • Apprenticeships involve 5 years of on-the-job training and 576 hours of classroom education.
  • Upon completion, the sponsor will submit an Apprenticeship Completion Form to the Department of Labor and Training (DLT).

2. Apply for the Journeyman Exam

3. Gain Experience as a Journeyman

  • Work under a master plumber for at least 1 year.

4. Apply for the Master Exam

5. Apply for an Independent Contracting License

  • Obtain a master plumber license first.
  • Submit a contractor registration application to the Contractors’ Registration & Licensing Board.
  • Carry the required business liability insurance (details below).

The journeyman and master plumber exams are 50 multiple-choice questions administered at the DLT testing center in Cranston, RI. Exams are offered most Tuesdays.

Reciprocity for Out-of-State Plumbers

Plumbers licensed in other states may apply for reciprocity in Rhode Island if they meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a current plumbing license in another state, with no disciplinary actions.
  • Submit a license verification from the issuing state board.
  • Pass the Rhode Island journeyman or master plumber exam.
  • Document at least 5 years of experience and approved training hours.

Rhode Island Plumbing License Fees

License TypeApplication FeeLicense FeeRenewal Fee
Journeyman$75$72$72 (every 2 years)
Master$75$240$240 (every 2 years)

Rhode Island Plumbing License Renewal

Plumbing licenses must be renewed every 2 years before the licensee’s birthdate:

  • Odd birth years renew in odd years
  • Even birth years renew in even years
  • Complete 7 hours of DLT-approved continuing education each renewal cycle.
  • Pay renewal fees listed above.
  • Licenses lapse after 2 years of non-renewal. Requires re-exam.

Rhode Island Plumbing Bond Requirements

Licensed plumbing contractors in Rhode Island must obtain a $20,000 contractor’s bond from the Contractors’ Registration Board before pulling permits or starting work. This surety bond provides financial protection if the contractor fails to complete a project or causes damages.

Plumbers working as employees under a licensed contractor’s supervision do not need their own bond.

Rhode Island Plumbing Insurance Requirements

Licensed contractors must carry the following minimum insurance coverage:

  • General Liability: $300,000 per occurrence
  • Property Damage: $300,000 per occurrence
  • Personal Injury: $300,000 per occurrence
  • Worker’s Compensation: As required by law

Employees and apprentices should verify with their employer if they are covered under the company’s policies or need individual liability insurance. To better understand the nuances of your coverage, consider reviewing the detailed information on Rhode Island Plumbing Insurance Guide & Quotes.

Finding a Plumbing Apprenticeship in Rhode Island

Aspiring plumbers can enroll in a registered 5-year apprenticeship through:

Contact the Rhode Island Office of Apprenticeship for more registered programs.

Rhode Island Plumbing License Contact Information

Rhode Island Dept of Labor and Training (DLT)401-462-8580
DLT Division of Professional
Contractors’ Registration & Licensing Board401-462-8580